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Rinne returns to practice after bacterial infection

Feb 19, 2014, 9:31 PM EDT

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Things are looking up for the Nashville Predators as the Olympic break winds down.

No. 1 goalie Pekka Rinne returned to practice on Wednesday after being out since October with a bacterial infection in his hip.

Getting the Finnish netminder back on the ice and working out is a welcome sight for the Preds as they’ve been trying to stay afloat in the Western Conference playoff race with a motley crew of goalies.

The Preds have used Carter Hutton, Marek Mazanec and, most recently, Devan Dubnyk to help get them through Rinne’s injury. Of that bunch, Hutton has been the best, but Dubnyk has made only two starts since arriving in Nashville in a trade from the Edmonton Oilers.

The Predators are four points behind Dallas for the final wild card spot in the West and while their offense needs help, getting Rinne’s superior goaltending back will give them a lift.

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